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01 Jun. 1997

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Tools for the Job Benjamin Moore offers a complete line of brushes and rollers designed to work with wood stains.
New wood – "mill glaze" is found on new, smooth planed wood, and interferes with the adhesion and penetration of stain. Unfinished wood – Use Benjamin Moore CLEAN Multi-Purpose Cleaner (318) to prepare wood for staining. Maintained finished wood – Use Benjamin Moore CLEAN Multi-Purpose Cleaner (318) to keep stained surfaces looking crisp as well as to prepare for regular maintenance touch-ups.
Tannin-rich woods (cedar, redwood) – Use Benjamin Moore Alkyd Primer (366) to control tannin bleeding when using solid color stains, particularly under lighter colors. See all of our deck preparation products and learn about our exterior wood and deck stains. Watch Videos on preparing your deck for staining, selecting the right stain, applying deck stain, and maintaining your deck.
Twice-monthly advice for bringing your home outdoors, from year-round yard upkeep and planning to the wonders of making your garden grow, plus special offers.
Spring heralds the arrival of weather warm enough for us to finally get outside and start undoing the damage winter has wrought on woodwork. The following information offers some guidelines for preparing your home's exterior wood surfaces for staining.
Use Benjamin Moore BRIGHTEN Brightener and Neutralizer (317) to remove the mill glaze found on all new wood.
Please note that Benjamin Moore RESTORE darkens tannin-rich woods such as cedar and redwood.


Refreshing the finish on decks, fences, and siding tops the to-do list because without renewed protection against Mother Nature, wood will start to decay.
See the following categories to find which best describes the condition of your wood, and how to prepare it for staining. In a one-two punch, sunlight breaks down the lignin that holds wood fibers together, leaving a gray surface that can't hold a finish. You can safeguard wood in one of two ways: either with paint, which seals it under an opaque film, or, perhaps better, with exterior stain.
The beauty of stain is that it's easy to apply, resistant to peeling, and brings out wood's texture or grain. If the water beads up or stands on the deck, your deck may not need sealing yet.Applying Deck CleanerUV rays penetrate wood, which causes graying.
If your deck isn't brand-new, always use a cleaner before applying finish.Carefully read the manufacturer's directions before using the material, and follow all safety precautions and warnings on the label. We translate the confusing labels, show you some of the many places stains are used, and offer tips on how to apply and maintain a finish for maximum durability. Once you make your choice and lay it on, you can rest easy, knowing that your wood is taken care of. For concentrated cleaners, follow the manufacturer's mixing directions.Step 6Use a paint roller with an extension handle, a garden sprayer or a stiff-bristled push broom to apply cleaner to the entire deck. Don't allow cleaner to puddle in any area.Step 7Speed up the process by having one person apply the cleaner and another person back-roll the deck. Back-rolling is a process in which one person uses a roller or broom to spread any puddles.Step 8Keep the deck wet with cleaner.


The bristles can break off into the wood and cause rust spots.Step 10Allow the cleaner to soak into the wood. Before you start, check the deck boards for needed repairs such as split boards or popped-up nails. To find out if the wood is dry enough to stain, use a moisture meter that tests the moisture content (MC) of wood. If you don't have a moisture meter, press the head of a flat screwdriver into the decking in an inconspicuous place. If any moisture appears, the wood is still too wet to stain.An alternative to stains or sealers is applying a resurfacer or restoration product. Applied with a brush or roller, they cover deck boards and do not show wood grain.Step 1Check the weather.
The entire deck may require sanding with a pole sander or palm sander to speed up the process. Drive in popped nails or replace them with deck screws.Step 4Sweep off loose debris and clean between the cracks. Bubbles will form in the finish.Step 7Apply a thin, even coat of sealer or stain over a two- to three-board section with a paint roller with an extension handle or a sprayer. Two thin coats are better than one thick coat that doesn't properly adhere or dry.Don't allow the finish to puddle.


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